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Tech Ladies Guide to Tech Resumes

Wondering how to craft a tech resume to stand out from the crowd? Get the do's and don'ts you need plus a free resume template from the pros of the Tech Ladies team along with a talent acquisition expert from our partner Circle

Kelli Smith
Kelli Smith
Sep 8, 2023
 min read
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Tech Ladies Guide to Tech Resumes

A question we hear a lot in the Tech Ladies community is, “How do I write a great resume for a tech job?” And, with competition for roles feeling stronger than ever, we know more and more of you are looking for answers.

Putting your resume together—or updating your last one—can feel like a daunting task, but we’re here to cut through the overwhelm with this guide.

The Tech Ladies team is full of hiring experts and career coaches with years of experience supporting women like you in finding dream jobs in tech. And we work closely with dozens of partner companies to help them hire great women in tech.

So our team has come together with a talent acquisition specialist at Tech Ladies partner Circle to share practical advice (and a free resume template!) you can use to transform your resume today.


When it comes to resumes, Andy Egts, Talent Acquisition Partner at Circle, says, “It's all subjective, and each recruiter has their personal preferences.” But here are some of the best ways we’ve found for you to write a standout resume.

Customize your resume

You’re applying for a particular position. Your resume needs to match it. Why? So the recruiter or hiring manager can instantly see that you’re the right person for the job!

You don’t need to create a separate resume for every single position. If you’re applying to a front-end developer position at two different companies, you can probably use the same resume for both. But, if you’re applying to do front-end development at one company and back-end at another, that’s when you’d want to send over different versions of your resume.

The goal is to match each version to what the role requires. You can base this on what’s in the job posting itself and refine it further if there’s info about the company, team, culture, etc. on the employer’s website, LinkedIn, or other social media.

Include keywords in your resume

When it comes to matching your resume to a role, keywords are crucial. Keywords are the terms or phrases describing your experience and skills that a recruiter or hiring manager is looking for from your resume. The more of them you have, the more likely it is you’ll be moved forward in the hiring process.

In addition to or in place of a person looking at your resume, it will likely be read by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). This means your resume is scanned by software to make sure it has certain keywords or even rank it by how many it has or how they’re used.

Knowing this, you might be tempted to fill your resume with all the keywords you can. Resist the temptation! Otherwise you end up with a resume that doesn’t sound like a human wrote it or misrepresents your skills which can get you rejected fast.

We recommend using a tool like Jobscan or ChatGPT to make sure your resume stacks up, without overdoing it. 

Keep your resume short

If you have a long resume, reduce it to one page or two pages, tops. Employers tend to only notice the info on the first two pages anyway... so let's make sure you get your most important experience noticed.

When trying to reduce your resume length, you might find it helpful to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have any roles on my resume that go back further than 10-15 years?Can I keep them on LinkedIn but remove them from my resume to save space?
  • When I read each point on my resume, do I still feel energized by doing that work? Or is it something that depletes me that I'd rather not include in my brand going further?

Make it easy for recruiters

You’ve probably heard that hiring managers can only spend a few seconds looking at your resume. Whether it’s a few seconds or a couple minutes, you want it to be easy to skim by the person (or ATS!) reviewing it so they actually consider you for the role.

As Andy at Circle says, “If a recruiter can't identify the most basic information and determine the flow/structure of a resume within a couple of seconds, they will move on just as fast.”

So, besides keeping it to 1-2 pages, to make your resume readable, use:

Clear language

A hiring manager faced with a wall of text might not slog through it. To avoid this:

  • Use bullet points under each role but limit yourself to 4-5 of them.
  • Keep sentences concise, 1-2 lines at most. (We like the free Hemingway App to edit for clarity.)
  • Quantify whenever possible. Representing your experience or achievements as a number makes it easy to spot and easy to understand.

Here are some questions Andy at Circle recommends for focusing your resume:

  • What did you own in your day-to-day or core job responsibilities?
  • What tools/platforms/software did you use?
  • How were you measured for success and how did you exceed those KPIs? Include 1 or 2 key accomplishments (like how you impacted growth, projects you led, changes you managed, teams you scaled, etc.).

Use a reasonable font size

You might have written a perfect resume, but, if it’s in microscopic print, nobody (not even a machine) will be able to read it. Try to use a 10-12pt font for most of the text and a slightly bigger and bolded text for section titles. These should be legible without taking up too much space.

Embrace the white space

Speaking of space, leaving blank areas between lines and sections (and some for margins, too) also makes it easier to find information in your resume.

Share as a PDF

Create your resume in whatever tool works for you. (Andy at Circle recommends ) But then download it in PDF format and send that to apply for roles.

PDFs can be opened on all devices and operating systems, and, maybe more importantly, always look the way you planned, regardless of where and how it’s opened.


The tips above will get you a great resume, but, to ensure nothing gets in its way, we also wanted to share some things we wouldn’t recommend.

DON’T overdesign

Like we mentioned at the start, there’s no set way to make a resume. A little color and some clean formatting is actually a plus when it comes to creating a resume that stands out in the right way. But too many graphics, illegible fonts, and an excess of color can make a resume seem unprofessional or simply unreadable.

‍Andy at Circle says, “Keep the design simple. It’s fine to inject a little personality into your resume, but recruiters are looking at lots of them. Put things where they expect to find them.”

Andy also says, “Save precious resume real estate, and don't worry about giving a visual guide to 'skills'. I see this all the time, and it's always throw-away. It's super subjective since the candidate is ranking/grading themselves.”

DON’T stray from LinkedIn (or vice versa)

Recruiters and hiring managers will often look at your LinkedIn, too. Andy says, “A major flag for me is where [a LinkedIn profile and a resume] are drastically different from each other.”

So you need to review your profile to make sure it lists the majority of skills and experience you share on your resume. You might choose to keep it all on LinkedIn, and then remove what’s not relevant when you make your resume for a specific role.

DON’T include irrelevant info

We already mentioned leaving out unrelated skills and experience when you’re writing your resume. But some other things to cut are:


This is the short description usually at the top of a resume that’s supposed to be a shortened version of your whole resume. It’s also sometimes positioned as “Objective” or “Value statement”, for example.

And this is one of the most contested topics in resume writing! Each recruiter has their own preference. We can go either way but tend to think it's only worth the valuable real estate when you're in an executive role, a career changer who can benefit from sharing a little more context, or otherwise need to strongly highlight something about your background.

While the idea of giving the hiring manager a TL;DR is great, they’ll still almost certainly look over the major points of your resume, where they’ll find everything they need. So, instead of taking up valuable space, consider just including this info in your cover email.


Andy at Circle says, “I only care about where you attended school, what you studied, and the highest level of education achieved (eg. bachelor's degree).”

Personal Info

We definitely want you to find a job where you can be the professional you want to be. But your hobbies or personal-use only social media accounts are most likely not applicable when it comes to your work.

And some information, like photos or marital status, can be a distraction or even hurt you in some cases. So it’s best to leave it out.


Hopefully you’ll get to the reference check stage of the hiring process. But you don’t need to share your contacts for references before then. Andy says, “I don't need references on a resume. I'll ask for them when I want them. Save the space.”


You might be thinking, “All this expert advice is great, but how do I put it in action?”We’ve got you covered with the free Tech Ladies resume template. Check it out to see an example of these points in practice and to get a headstart on your own terrific resume! 

Kelli works with our hiring partners, helping them connect with Tech Ladies interested in joining their great teams. She’s an expert in customer success and has worked in tech, including recruiting and hiring, for the past ten years. Kelli lives in southeastern Finland and loves dancing, podcasts, and productivity apps.
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Job Searching

Tech Ladies Guide to Tech Resumes

Kelli Smith
Kelli Smith
Sep 8, 2023
 min read
Tech Ladies Guide to Tech Resumes